Fostering privately? Please let us know
It is estimated that approximately 20,000 children up and down the country are living away from home in private fostering arrangements, but less than 50 per cent of these arrangements are registered.
If you are currently caring for someone else’s child who is under the age of 16 years (or 18 years if disabled) for longer than 28 days, you are privately fostering and must inform the council immediately.
By law, both the parent of the child being cared for and those providing the child’s care must inform the council of the arrangement at least six weeks before it begins.
Private fostering is an agreement between parents and carers, but there are regulations about how a child is looked after and the council has a duty and responsibility to check these regulations are carried out.
‘The council has a duty of care and we want to ensure that the child is being cared for in the right way’
Looking after someone else’s child is a big responsibility but you need to work in partnership with the parents, regardless of where they live and happy to ‘let go’ of the child when their time comes to an end.
The council will offer support in meeting these commitments and offer advice if anyone is considering privately fostering someone else’s child.
Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Social Care and Health Integration, said: “It is essential that we hear from people who are private fostering.
“The council has a duty of care and we want to ensure that the child is being cared for in the right way.
“We are sending out a strong message that people may be prosecuted if they fail to notify the council.”